‘Climate of fear’ for renters

20 February 2017
Jess Lenehan

A fear of rent rises, evictions and blacklisting is stopping tenants asking for repairs or raising complaints, according to a new survey by CHOICE, the National Association of Tenants’ Organisations and National Shelter.

The survey revealed that there is a “climate of fear” among renters. Tenants are right to be nervous. According to the survey, one in ten copped a rent increase immediately after asking for a repair. Some are evicted for making reasonable complaints. “I was once told when I signed a lease that the landlord would be leaving the house as it is otherwise the rent would be put up”, one survey respondent said.

The report, Unsettled: Life in Australia’s private rental market, also detailed the insecurity of renting in Australia. Only 6 percent of renters are on a lease of six years or more, and more than 60 percent have a fixed term lease for one year or less.

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